Whose back you ask? It’s those greedy developers who took consumers money when they needed pre-sales who now want to cash in on…..the property boom!
Between 2013 and 2016, Leverage ran several class actions against developers who dragged their feet in the property boom hoping to use the sunset clause to terminate agreements and then sell the property on at the new increased price. Our actions led to an amendment in the law by the inclusion of Section 66ZL of the Conveyancing Act 1919. This provision only allowed purchasers to withdraw after the sunset clause. Vendors could not terminate without the approval of the Supreme Court, where they need to prove that they could not complete the development.
What are they doing now? Well, the solicitors in a deliberate attempt to get around the sunset date, have inserted a new clause in their contracts that states that the vendor or purchaser may withdraw if development approval is not obtained by a certain date.
The government, when drafting Section 6ZL, limited a sunset clause that relates to an occupation certificate or registration of a subdivision. This mistake is inexcusable. The error was drawn to the departments notice when a developer escaped through the sunset provisions by using a mortgage.